Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wilderness Love

On a roll with wilderness multi-day trips this summer, I decided to jump back on the horse with fly in trips. A little hesitant since the Clendenning, I picked a run I was confident would not turn into an epic adventure....the Upper Middle Fork of the Flathead River in Montana.
It begins with an awesome flight over the Flathead Valley and through the Great Bear Wilderness.
Tiny Planes
Gorgeous Views

Since we had to take three planes and I was in the first one, we had some time to kill at Schafer Meadow. Lucky for us there is an awesome old ranger station there with friendly folks who invited us in for a cup of coffee. (Awesome since it was frosty and in the 30s outside)
Schafer Meadows Ranger Station
Excited? Yes!

Just a short hike later we were at the put in, a small and clear mountain creek. This run is everything it is said to be...beautiful, crystal clear water, amazing scenery, and mellow but fun rapids. The trees seem to go on forever and the river is lined with hidden waterfalls trickling in.
Can I Stay Forever Please?
Enjoying the Scenery
Fun Rapids

The camping and hiking were top notch also, making me wish I could stay longer than a couple of days. Unfortunately we did not spot any wildlife, with the exception of a couple of deer hanging around our camp, despite finding moose tracks and antlers.
Hike to Scott Lake
Watch Out for the Bears!
Camp Night One

We also had a birthday boy on our trip, which of course meant ridiculous costumes, wilderness dance parties, and lots of silliness.
Ty in his "Birthday Suit"
Birthday No-Bake Cheesecake
Skip Checking out the Moose Bog
Yay for Ty's Birthday!!

The last day featured the Spruce Park Series, the most difficult rapids and a sweet mini gorge. We were all bummed out when it ended and we knew we were almost back to civilization.
Ty Coming Out of the Gorge
Loving the Clear Water!
Rachel in the Spruce Park Series

What an awesome trip!! This run certainly ranks high on my list. I can't wait to go back!
Thanks to a great crew for making it all happen!

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